Curatives for morning sickness by dee Hobsbawn-Smith

Poem title: Curatives for morning sickness Poet name: dee Hobsbawn-Smith
Poem: 	–For Madhur Anand 

Your GP, your naturopath, thinking only healthy baby, 
will insist on ancient sacred foods – small fish, their roe, 
bone marrow, liver, the irony of eggs, raw milk. 

But you have a dragon-tail to ride for nine long months. 
Those moments when the whip-crack of that tail
send your innards into outer space, what then? 

For then, crystallized ginger’s pungent breath, 
its silver threads fine silk for saris. 
Nibble one piece at a time or by the handful. 

Drink tea steeped with fennel. The Greeks call fennel marathon, 
after the fennel-covered plain where the Athenians triumphed. 
Childbirth is like that long run.

More licorice-loving herbs for your health – 
anise seed, basil, tarragon the tiny-toothed French firedrake,
holy basil, sacred to mothers, 

and star anise, steeped star of darkness, 
startling brown axles and pin-wheeling heart, 
figure-skating queen of spices. 

Eat smoked haddock in cream, 
finnan haddie to the outliers, for strength, for fortitude, 
your life an island as you gestate this child.

More tea – spearmint, green tracery of hope on its leaves. 
Peppermint, blue for faith – the magicking of a baby’s body 
within yours makes faith imperative, a given. 

Drink Guinness. 
For more strength. 
Labour is well-named. 

Eat raw mango, cook with curry leaves. 
Collect hand-ground stardust, 
harvested in the Outer Nebulae.

Listen. Labour. And afterwards, 
when her tiny innards ride the dragon, 
give her gripe water scented with licorice.
End of poem.
Credits and bio: Copyright © dee Hobsbawn-Smith
Previously published in Among the Untamed, (Frontenac House, 2023) 
dee Hobsbawn-Smith (she/her) writes award-winning poetry, novels, short stories, and essays which are sometimes influenced by her background as a chef and local foods advocate. She lives and works west of Saskatoon, in Treaty Six Territory, where she served as the Saskatoon Public Library’s 35th Writer in Residence, and earned her MFA in Writing and MA in English. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. She has written ten books; her most recent books include Bread & Water, published in 2021 by University of Regina Press, which combines food writing with the personal essay in a meditation on place and home. It won the SK Book Award for Best Nonfiction, and Taste Canada’s Gold Medal for Culinary Narrative; Danceland Diary: a novel, published by Radiant Press, and a finalist for SK Book Awards’ Best Fiction. Her latest book is Among the Untamed: poems. published by Frontenac House as part of their 2023 Spring Quartet. In her spare time she cooks, gardens, quilts, grows orchids, and runs. She’s a fan of good chocolate, period movies, and detective novels. She hopes to learn to play her guitar before she turns 80.